The year is coming to a close and I couldn’t be happier. This year has been like that petty friend or bully you thought you left behind in school, but has somehow made their way back into your life, married your ex and moved in next door with the sole intent of making your life a living hell. 2016 has been the worst.

Honestly, the only thing that has kept me from flipping every table in sight and screaming indiscriminately while out and about, has been music. Whether it was live or recorded, it gave me solace, peace, calm and all those other adjectives that make you warm and fuzzy in a cold, cold world.

Here are some of the artists and songs that were in heavy rotation.

Goldlink, “Dark Skin Women”

Cause #blackgirlmagic kept me smiling last year and will keep me smiling forever and ever, amen. Too bad the official video for this song does not feature a dark skin woman, like da fuq?  

Unknown Mortal Orchestra, “Like Acid Rain”

I saw Unknown Mortal Orchestra during an impromptu trip to Seattle in January and they were amazing. I love the entire “Multi-Love” album, and “Acid Rain” is one of my favorites. Good quick joint to belt out during a rough day, or week, or year.

Favorite line:

You and I are doomed to burn
Like white people in the sun (woowoo) 

 

Sango, “Agorina”

Haunting keys coupled with hard hitting vocals. I don’t know a lick of Portuguese, but it sounds like dude is saying some pretty grimey stuff. UPDATE: Friend of a friend confirmed, it is quite explicit. But I can’t help but turn up, turn up when I play this. I played this while driving through Joshua Tree National Park one night during a birthday getaway – terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time.

 

Day Jack, “Easy”

You wakin’ up on a Monday morning
Dressed up, the boss been callin’
Is it easy?????

 

Kendrick Lamar, “Alright”

We gon’ be alright. Lord I hope so. I realized this became part of my morning routine after the election. Probably some attempt to get myself mentally prepared for what is to come in the new year.

 
Vulfpeck, “Smile Meditation”

Breathe in strength, breathe out BS.

 

 
Mick Jenkins, “Plugged”

What is the healing component? Spoiler alert, it’s Love. I appreciate the effort to put out good vibes and positive messages. Spread love, all day er’day. It’s the Brooklyn way.

 

 
Solange, “Don’t Touch My Hair”

Self explanatory.

 

Moses Sumney, “Plastic”

Soul stirring and raw. It’s just Moses and his guitar bearing all. Although minimalist, it is an overwhelming description of the facades we project and hide behind in lust, love, life.

 
Noname, “All I Need”

This is a love song, but I am enchanted by the way Noname ties in reverence for black girl magic and how Xavier Omar sings about rolling with what life throws your way – not coming when you expect it, but right on time.

My honeybee red black and green…if its not how I want it, just how I need it

Sidenote, her lyricism is something fierce. Check rap genius for a breakdown of her second verse, good ish.

 

Chance the Rapper, “D.R.A.M sings Special”

If no one tells you today, let D.R.A.M tell you. You are special man.

Chance isn’t on this and it’s an interlude. But it was enough for me in 2016.

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